Previous commitments prevented me from visiting her on the day itself but I called in to see her at her home in Walker today to wish her a Happy Birthday from me and, of course, on behalf of all truckshunters everywhere.
It’d been a while since we met so I was naturally glad to find her in good form and in high spirits. She looked great (as you can see) and was full of chat, news and memories. In case you don’t know it already, Ada has an archetypal photographic memory and can recall, as well as any modern piece of digital equipment, absolutely all of my most embarrassing radio moments.
She is also, however, polite enough not to bring them up in conversation too often!
Her recollections, though, go much further back than a mere stripling like me. I spent a wonderful couple of hours asking her about her lifelong career as a nurse - and listening to her replies, which were full of Ada-style anecdote and humour.
She was a young nurse during the later stages of World War II, for example, and can remember looking after soldiers who had been injured during the Normandy landings - both British and German. I laughed loudly when she told me a story about a colleague of hers at the time…
Injured German soldiers were given, amongst other things, as many slices of bread to eat as they wanted. Ada’s fellow-nurse, not being exactly fluent in German, proffered a plate of bread to one of them. She promptly, and quite understandably, misinterpreted his reply of ‘Nein, danke‘ as ‘Nine, thanks‘ and proceeded to pile up nine slices of bread in front of him, much to his astonishment.
You live and learn. And everybody has a story to tell…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ADA - from all of us.
Hildie was meant to be with me on my visit to Ada today but she’s not too well right now. Please spare her a thought as you read this - and get in touch with her if you can.
Please get well soon, Hildie. You’re indispensable!
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